In the world of management speak it is common practice to re-brand an essentially old idea with a new name. Many years ago we had EIS (executive information systems), decision support systems and MI (management information) systems. I am sure there are experts out there who will post me precise definitions of these and be able to define the differences, but today this kind of solution is generally referred to as Business Intelligence (BI). What BI does is to make sense of the various types of structured data in a company and present this to the business user (aka Information Workers) in such a way that this can be analysed and reported on with little further support from the IT professional.
Business Intelligence is a collection of technologies :
So that's a view of BI from about 5 miles away and your question is why do I need to do this at all? My next post will address this, but if it wasn't a really valuable part of a modern business, why do so many and varied companies implement a BI solution. If there isn't any obvious BI in your company, then there will be at least one person using the most complex set of excel spreadsheets you will have seen and that will be what the business will be relying on to set it's strategy, and that's your BI solution.
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